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Pinellas County Schools teacher named Florida Teacher of the Year

July 22, 2021

Sarah PainterThe Florida Department of Education named Sarah Painter, a fifth-grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School, the Florida 2022 Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made Thursday evening at the Teacher of the Year Gala in Orlando.

Painter will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education. As the ambassador, Painter will travel the state to recognize and honor the contributions of Florida's teachers and create greater public awareness of Florida's exceptional teachers and the profession. She will also inspire and motivate future and current teachers. Painter will receive $20,000 for being named Teacher of the Year.

During her acceptance speech, Painter noted the phrase that her students helped her coin during a tough school year. "Find joy" was the phrase. She also noted that it takes a village.

"While it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a district to raise a teacher," Painter said.

Painter holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of South Florida, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida and is in her 18th year of teaching. She says that over 18 years her passion for teaching hasn’t wavered.

“Being a teacher means serving others for the greater good,” Painter said. “Once a Painter, always a Painter is a mantra we use in my classroom.”